On a global basis, financial institutions are the dominant adaptors of Digital Communication Networks (“DCN”). Yet surprisingly little research has been conducted in support of the benefits to be derived from, and the best practices related to, an implementation of a bank DCN. Recognizing this opportunity, the Platt Retail Institute (“PRI”) is undertaking the first major research study of a Bank DCN. On May 17 at 4:30 pm at the Digital Signage Expo in Chicago, PRI will present the background and its testing methodology related to this investigation.
PRI has been working closely with a major Mid-West Bank on this project since July 2006. Planning in support of the research methodology has been extensive, including the creation of specific content. Ten bank braches have been selected for testing. Five of these are DCN enabled, and five are control sites. Testing will begin in May 2007, and will run for a three month period. The results will be released later this summer, and made available by PRI and its research sponsors.
The research revolves around the Bank’s stated DCN objectives. These include enhancing the customer bank experience, improving branch productivity, and impacting product/service revenue.
A customer’s bank experience is broadly defined as the cumulative impact upon a consumer of a branch’s collective environmental attributes. These attributes generally include interactions with bank personal, the perceived range and value of products and services, and the branch’s physical atmosphere, which includes its design, service levels, and communication packages. Changes in a customer’s bank branch experience can be demonstrated by shifts in cumulative customer satisfaction, and measured by considering both customer attitude toward and behavior while in a bank. Ultimately, the impact on retail brand equity is quantified.
Bank branch productivity refers to customer transaction processing time and actual wait times. Changes in branch productivity considers shifts in teller processing time and actual wait time as a result of DCN messages aimed at impacting consumer behavior. These messages include preparing necessary transaction forms prior to entering the cue, directing customers off-line to use self-serve options, and providing general information in advance of frequently asked customer questions. These results are then assigned a value.
The ability of the Bank’s DCN to influence consumer purchase behavior will also be measured. The DCN’s ability to stimulate demand for specific products and services, such signing up for direct deposit, paying bills on line, and securing a mortgage, for example, is also to be tested. New customer additions and specific product/service revenue generation will be tracked.
- Data gathering mirrors the Banks DCN objectives. This includes the following:
- Customer Bank Experience: exit interviews, and digitized data capture.
- Branch Productivity: digitized data capture, transaction data, self-serve, and teller activity.
- Product/Service Revenue Generation: transaction data and teller referrals.
The data produced will ultimately be synthesized into various findings, conclusions and recommendations. For a bank considering a DCN, this research will be a must-read.
For more information: contact Steven Keith Platt. Director, Platt Retail Institute, Hinsdale, IL. www.plattretailinstitute.org